"Pink: the movie"
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Pink projects are supported by the
Mathematical Information and Computer Sciences (MICS) Program of the Office of Science, ASCI Institutes, and the
Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program.
Pink is a collaborative effort between CCS and CCN divisions.
Pink is a 1024-node (2048 processor) dual P4 LinuxBIOS/BProc cluster
connected with Myrinet 2000. The hardware vendor is Linux Networx.
Pink, a Science Appliance, is the second largest single-system image Linux cluster in the world (Lightning, another LinuxBIOS BProc cluster is the largest at 1408 nodes). It is also unique in a number of other ways.
- Pink nodes boots out of Flash RAM (LinuxBIOS) -- there are no local
disk, no NFS-mounted root file system. The individual nodes
are up and running Linux in a few seconds.
- The very first thing the nodes
do is contact the front end (BProc master) which serves up a new,
operational kernel via multicast to all the nodes. The nodes then
replace their running kernel with the new one. This 2-phased boot scheme
simplifies system management by eliminating version skew and system-wide
upgrades. The operational kernel is maintained only on the master node --
upgrades to the system software on the entire cluster are performed by
rebooting the nodes which are then guaranteed to be in synch with each
- BProc itself is a set of
kernel modifications to Linux that provide a single process space across
the entire cluster. Jobs running on nodes of the cluster are visible
(via ps and the like) on the master and they are also
controlable (via standard UNIX signals) from the master.
- Pink is also a testbed for file systems. Pink will be used to
test the scalability of both user environment file systems, such as V9FS, as well as cluster-wide
file systems such as Panasas and Lustre.
For more information on Pink and related projects, see the
Cluster Research Lab web page.